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Guest Message by DevFuse

FCC Readies NGSO Ka-Band Effort

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Posted 08 February 2002 - 04:10 AM

The Federal Communications Commission is taking the next step to unleash a new satellite communications technology that promises to deliver high-speed Internet access, voice and other services.

This week, the FCC initiated a proceeding to determine the means by which a new set of proposed non-geostationary satellite (NGSO) systems can use Ka-Band spectrum. The FCC is seeking comment on the proposal. Non-geostationary satellites are in constant motion, like Iridium and Globalstar birds, while geostationary satellites, like DBS satellites, stay fixed on their footprint.

The FCC effort targets second round applicants that are eyeing the non-geostationary/Ka-Band frequencies. The FCC has proposed to license all five of the applicants, which are Denver-based @contact, Hughes Communications, Lockheed Martin, SkyBridge (backed by Loral and Alcatel), and TRW.

The first company authorized to use Ka-Band spectrum through a non-geostationary satellite network is Teledesic, backed by cellular phone pioneer Craig McCaw and Microsoft's Bill Gates. On the geostationary/Ka-Band side, licensees include EchoStar, Hughes' SpaceWay and Pegasus.

In its notice of proposed rulemaking, the FCC said it wants to stick to a strict timetable for system implementation, but specific dates or an exact timeline wasn't part of its proceeding. Certain ITU deadlines may require some systems to be operational as early as 2005, some said.

The commission proposed that non-geostationary Ka-Band licensees enter into a satellite manufacturing contract within one year of authorization, and complete construction and launch of the first two satellites within three and a half years of grant. The entire system will have to be launched and operational within six years of authorization, the FCC said in its proceeding.

From <a href="http://www.skyreport.com" target=none>SkyReport</a> (Used with permission)

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